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NETWORK LINKS TO BE ESTABLISHED IN THE COMMUNITY

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Bolsover DC has been awarded a£160,000 government grant to help improve communication, consultation and accessibil...
Bolsover DC has been awarded a£160,000 government grant to help improve communication, consultation and accessibility of council services for its communities.

The grant, awarded from the DETR - Invest to Save Budget Round Two, will enable the authority to add an extra dimension to its Community Action Network Link.

The money will be used to provide IT booths (information kiosks) for public access to public services, which will include local information on Council services, places to visit and the ability to print forms, whether it be for a job or benefits. The kiosks could also include Internet compatibility, allowing those with internet access to get 'online' from the comfort of their own home.

The grant may also be used to develop the idea of smartcards, for use in paying bills such as council tax and housing rent or with identity cards issued with a personal pin number allowing individuals to gain access to personal information, such as the progress on a housing repair they have requested.

Once implemented, the kiosks could be sited around the district at the council's 'One Stop' district office bases and local community centres and villages halls.

The council's chief executive, John Fotherby said: 'We are delighted to have been included in the winning package of bids for Round Two and the grant will enable us to develop our communication links with the community. The world is becoming more and more computer orientated and we have to keep up with this progress by offering our residents the best service possible.

'These new kiosks will provide this service, with an instant response to customer queries and allow us to add other agencies information, as and when required, providing a total information service to Bolsover District residents.'

The bid also encompasses elements that will enhance the roll of the 'Community Action Network' (CAN) scheme, in providing a new approach to the delivery of a fully integrated service in relation to community consultation, community health and well being.

State of the art satellite/communications and tracking systems with radio back up linked to central control facilities will be fitted to the 'CAN' vehicles and the Police and other agencies will also become involved with joint funding initiatives such as help for victims of crime and joint patrols.

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